Published in the January 2009 issue of Today’s Hospitalist
DOES YOUR HOSPITAL need a shot in the arm when it comes to infectious disease standards? A new organization with a long history in infection prevention and control may be able to help.
APIC Consulting, an offshoot of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, is set up to help health care institutions translate the science of infection control into practice. While that’s long been the association’s mission, APIC leaders thought it was time to take that expertise on the road.
“The micro-organisms are evolving, the requirements are becoming more onerous,” says Kathy Warye, the group’s CEO. “It’s hard for many organizations to keep up.”
APIC Consulting works with a facility’s infection control professionals to evaluate current approaches to infection prevention and control. The group typically looks for gaps in how a hospital is incorporating evidence and provides guidance on getting up to speed.
A good example is implementing something as seemingly straightforward as CDC guidelines. “These guidelines are hundreds of pages long and contain many references,” Ms. Warye says. “If you’re a smaller institution, wading through all that and figuring out what to implement can be difficult. That’s where we fill the gap.”
While most requests come from acute care hospitals, the group has helped one ambulatory care organization, which Ms. Warye says is good news. “That’s a part of our health care system that’s in real need of greater infection control expertise and awareness,” she explains.
To date, most requests for help have come from infectious disease clinicians, but Ms. Warye says she would like to see hospitalists get more involved in the process, in part because of their growing role in quality improvement initiatives.
“We would welcome” she says, “a more robust dialogue between infection control and hospitalists.”